James Dyson To Boost British Engineering

Sir James Dyson puts his money where his mouth is with £8 Million of university funding to boost British engineering.

Sir James Dyson

Back in 2013, Sir James Dyson went on record bemoaning the lack of engineering talent in the UK. Proving that the innovation guru is serious about plugging the skills shortage, the James Dyson Foundation recently donated £8 million of funding towards a cutting edge technology hub at the University of Cambridge.

Some of the world's most advanced engineering laboratories

Not only is this the single biggest donation that Cambridge's engineering faculty has ever received, it also promises to give the UK's best young engineering minds access to “some of the world’s most advanced engineering laboratories,” according to the Foundation's website. It's one small step for British engineering, one giant leap for one of the most successful engineering institutes in Europe.

Sir James told the University of Cambridge website:

“Developing the intellectual property that will help Britain succeed in the global technology race depends on applying our brightest minds to ambitious and exciting research projects.
I’m hopeful that this new space for Britain’s best engineers at the University of Cambridge will catalyse great technological breakthroughs that transform how we live,”

British Engineering

Dyson Engineering Design Centre

The Dyson Engineering Design Centre will open its doors in 2015, giving electronic, mechanical and structural engineers unparalleled access to a “prototyping hub and workshop space,” which incorporates incubator units for collaborative research and sharing ideas amongst its open plan floor space.

Specialised design engineering equipment will include state of the art scanners, lasers, printing machinery and routers to assist the development of high-tech engineering projects such as solar powered racing cars, arctic ice vehicles and helium balloon spaceflight systems.

The James Dyson Foundation has also set aside funding towards a new five storey complex, fittingly called the James Dyson Building for Engineering, earmarked for postgraduates. It will purportedly support some of the world's finest research in “advanced materials, smart infrastructure, electric vehicles, and efficient internal combustion systems for cars,” according to the Foundation website.

Students not only gain access to on-site specialist knowledge and funding advice but laboratories filled to the rafters with “world-class turbo machinery, fluid dynamics equipment and areas for nanotechnology analysis,” they add.

Powerhouse of invention

No doubt you'll be familiar with Cambridge's light blue boat race team but did you know that the academic institution is also a powerhouse of invention? It was within these hallowed walls that engineers Harry Riccardo and Frank Whittle made their significant breakthroughs with the internal combustion engine and the turbojet engine respectively.

The University of Cambridge's Engineering Department resides in the beating heart of the Cambridge cluster. Europe's largest technology hub has given rise to more than 1,500 tech firms in the area, which have also given us the pregnancy test, Concorde's ‘droop’ nose design, and microchips that power 90% of the world’s mobile phones.

Little wonder then that Sir James has bequeathed his benevolence to these parts. Perhaps the most gratifying fact about this funding injection is that it won't just benefit Higher Education students either. It is also set to engage local school children with engineering workshops to inspire Britain's next generation of talented inventors.

The James Dyson Foundation supports design, technology and engineering from primary schools to start-up businesses and has thus far donated £35 million to these causes. Find out more about the work of the James Dyson Foundation.

What do you think of Sir James Dyson statement of lack of talent in British Engineering? Make your comments here.

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